Almost two years ago I took an online Abstract Landscape class taught by Pauline Agnew. We used acrylic paint, and soft oil pastels and baby wipes.
During this class I painted exclusively on watercolor paper. I choose not to use canvas because when used with acrylic paint, they cannot be preserved with acrylic varnish. They need to be framed. We spent some time on Monet-like water lily paintings. I didn’t like mine particularly at the time.
Since I have now finished all of my paintings for an upcoming exhibit, I had some time to play with the oil pastels again. I did another water lily scene which I like much better than the former paintings.
Oil pastels are a very different from soft pastels. They are greasier and from what I have read, do not work well for a realistic painting. They are good for expressive and impressionistic work because they glide so effortlessly and are very vibrant and creamy.
They can build up some subtle or dramatic texture as well, which you may not see with soft pastel. I have read that they lend themselves wonderfully to all sorts of techniques from scraping and stippling to color gradations and overlays.
As for mistakes, once you put them on paper or canvas, they are difficult to remove. I used baby wipes to spread around the color or to try to reduce it, but they cannot be removed completely.
I used Mungyo Artists’ Soft Oil Pastels because they were inexpensive and I didn’t know if I would like them. That was a good move on my part, because I don’t particularly like to work on paper and I don’t want to frame my paintings. They were an interesting experiment and I have friends who love them.